For every leader called to great impact, there comes a point when their character is refined in the crucible of ethical decision making. At our core of who we are, this is where our beliefs, convictions, and values collide. Most often this occurs when our ethics, the standard to which we have ascribed to follow professionally ends up being in conflict with our character, or who we are when no one is looking.
Most of us as leaders will say that the most authentic are those that function in alignment with who they are from the inside out. There are no compartments, no mask, few blind spots…what you see is what you get. In the landscape of leadership, this degree of authenticity, vulnerability really, is popular to talk about, but hard to come by in practice.
It seems that what refines and molds character and ethics together the most is conflict. Rather a crisis of belief, or ‘dark night of the soul’ as some have called it. When leaders choose to grow from these periods of refinement, instead of run from them, they are able to leverage the “who” they are more authentically from the inside out. This empowers them to influence others more effectively, and wholeheartedly, in their leadership.